Police Shoot Unarmed Man After Motorbike Chase

Police shot and injured an unarmed man in Phnom Penh on Thursday, blaming the incident on the victim’s attempt to resist arrest following a chase through the city.

The victim, Oeun Sotheara, 30, had been driving with a friend along National Road 5 at about 3 p.m. when police at a checkpoint in Russei Keo district flagged him down because the motorbike did not have a license plate, according to district police chief Teang Chansa.

Mr. Sotheara slowed down, but then suddenly sped away, prompting the officers to give chase, Mr. Chansa said.

“When our forces stopped them, the two did not allow our forces to arrest them and tried to resist, which led to a gunshot that hit [Mr. Sotheara’s] right calf,” he said, refusing to name the officer who shot Mr. Sotheara.

He said police found five small packets of crystal methamphetamine under the seat of the motorbike, which was owned by the victim’s friend, Uth Sarneang, 25.

Deputy district police chief Iv Chhunpheng said the chase stretched more than 5 km, and that police finally stopped the men near the Ly Yong Phat Bridge and moved to arrest them.

When Mr. Sotheara and Mr. Sarneang attempted to flee, a scuffle ensued and the gun was fired, Mr. Chhunpheng said, adding that the shot merely “grazed” the younger man.

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